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Virginia 95, Us 47, United States 25, Washington 17, U.s. 15, America 13, China 11, New York 8, Scott Rigell 8, Rodney 7, Navy 7, Bobby Scott 6, Savannah 6, Rachel 5, Mexico 5, Norfolk 5, Newport 4, New York City 4, Florida 4, New Orleans 4,
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  CSPAN    U.S. Senate    News/Business.  

    August 6, 2013
    5:00 - 8:01pm EDT  

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the virginia maritime association has a trucker's training program that we are always looking for truck drivers that is probably the best place to go is to contact the virginia maritime association and you can use on line as well. >> host: are those truck drivers each person affected for security concerns? >> guest: they are. every truck driver that call support has to have what they call a transportation identification card and that is vetted through the federal government. >> host: going to lawrence in
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miami, florida. go ahead lawrence. >> caller: i would just like to find out how much of a distance is the export and import of the american manned ships with items made in america and the foreign land ships with products made in foreign lands. if there is not a balance there, why would we want to have more foreign ships? how many are we going to lose? >> host: okay. >> guest: in the port of virginia i can tell you that our ratio import-export is about 50/50 which is a great base to be so from this country we are seeing like i said before we are sending over you know paper pulp and logs and agriculture and then we are importing those foreign finish things that are
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made elsewhere. now in the united states there is a huge push push to reassure some offshore manufacturing so the port of virginia wants to be the conduit for trade. >> host: you said it's 50/50, pretty much equal between exports and imports. why does that matter do you think? >> guest: we want commerce coming and going from both manufactures, producers agriculture in the united states. those farmers and businesses want places to send their goods and so there is a demand oversees so we have to pay attention to both export and import so having those containers full going both ways is a great thing. >> host: how much does it cost per container to sit empty? >> guest: i have never seen it couched in that manner so but i'm sure the ship lines do not like to have the containers that are sitting idle. >> host: i think jeff you gave me a figure earlier that each
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container represents about $20,000 in economic impact on the community. and so given that, how quickly do these shippers, these companies want you to get them on and off? what did they expect? >> guest: our goal again is to not have cargo sitting in the ports of virginia. our goal is to get them on the ship heading out or heading inland to the end user and in america today we have this just-in-time logistics where people want their products, their parts for autos or whatever it is to show up just in time so that makes the timing at the port of virginia and any port very critical. our goal is to get cargo especially if it's heading on rail out of here within 24 to 48 hours. >> host: i think i heard in researching this this just-in-time delivery system,
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that there is a certain supply of goods in our country at any point in time. can you speak to that a little bit rodney? this just-in-time delivery system, what does that mean if her example a court-porter several ports were to shut down. what would happen in this country? >> guest: they would be a significant impact not necessarily immediately but within a week or two weeks. obviously their distribution centers that support the retail establishments to walmart's and the targets and the like. but within a week they would be without goods in their distribution centers and that would translate into the store shelves would be empty. >> guest: an interesting dynamic as as well as some of just-in-time logistics concepts can spur a lot of economic growth for communities as well. for example a car manufacturer. some car manufacturers are
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saying a part for a car can show up to the assembly line eight hours before it's ready to go on the vehicle so wet that it has caused is the tire manufactured to create a distribution center every part manufactured to create it does reason center so when you are track manufacturing it's not just the plans that puts it together but the whole distribution system. so they stopped piled those locally to be able to respond to their customers. >> host: and they can show up eight hours before because why? they would would have to pay for it sooner? >> guest: they would rather distribute your stock in be responsible for it. >> host: let me go to cynthia who is a republican in beach haven pennsylvania. welcome to the conversation. >> caller: good morning to you all. i just wanted to say mr. oliver i appreciate your comments on security and wondering, if c-span realizes what's going on with our security and if it's
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responsible to be asking certain questions but i have to say i do have every confidence in realizing my little brother graduated from newport news and i just want to say go navy and to mr. wassmer i would like to be an advocate definitely for you to receive more national funding for anything that you would need there at the port port and to thank you all for your service and keeping us safe. >> host: all right cynthia. let's hear from john who is in virginia a democratic caller. hi john. >> caller: thanks for taking my call. i travel to oversees and i'd like to ask the gentlemen have they ever been to any of the- ports? >> host: to the dubai ports? >> caller: the dubai port yes. >> guest: i have been to hong kong and singapore. >> i have not been to divide but people on the staff have been to
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dubai. >> host: why? >> guest: it's a major trade center. it's a major shipment hub. a lot of cargo goes to dubai and then it's exported from dubai to its final destination. >> host: john did you have a follow-up? >> caller: i want to say these two gentlemen have to realize that we don't just want to compete inside the united states. the wall is changing. the fastest ports growing in the world and if we want to invest in this country we have to get rid of people like cancer who doesn't want to invest in this state nor his country and that is the whole set of ideas. i've traveled to dubai many times and i've never seen anything like this. i have never seen any port like this in the entire world. number one for safety and security and businesswise, they generate more business than any other country.
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>> host: hey john as you have been watching this program this morning the life here from norfolk the port of virginia and you are seeing images of the activity around here how would you say it's different from the port of dubai? >> caller: well, quite frankly you have to see the way it works because they i can't even explain in a picture. dubai right now are expanding more because they cannot even handle the ships coming in. i mean we are a great country. we have money but we don't invest in our country or our state. that's the sad part. we are behind. this is nothing. this is a simple port. >> host: okay. >> guest: i was just going to say we understand the international impact of trade. trade internationally is projected to be up 9.5% every year for the next 20 years. there are some huge ports
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obviously outside the united states. we understand that. rodney and the staff and the port of virginia spends quite a bit of time going to those other ports establishing relationships, trade partners and not just ports themselves but the manufactures are consumers beyond that. we are a maritime nation, there is no doubt about it but we understand the international impact of trade. so i agree with the caller. we need to invest more in infrastructure. we need to be able to handle those large ships and handle the influx of trade that will continue to grow in the united states and internationally and i think rodney will attest to the fact that we have a great, great staff around the world. we have representatives around the world who are working on this exact issue. >> host: rodney oliver what did your folks tell you about the port of dubai and what ports like yours need in order to keep up with what's happening in dubai and other areas? >> guest: they have got a very innovative concept right behind
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a port. they have a huge foreign trade zone where a majority of the distributors and big box to strip readers have located. we in virginia actually have a trade-foreign trade zones, one of the oldest in the united states that we often utilize. companies like steel in virginia beach and newport news use that foreign trade status to their advantage. >> host: we will go to colleen in wisconsin, democrat. colleen, are you with us? colleen in wisconsin republican caller, democratic caller. one last try for her. let me go to john. here we go. colleen are you with us? >> caller: yes, hello.
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how does duluth and superior compare with the -- ports? >> host: duluth port? [inaudible] >> caller: compared with the virginia port in the amount of cargo ships in and out etc.? >> host: it was a little difficult to hear. we have a rainstorm going on as we speak. we are picking it up here but talking about the lake superior area. >> guest: like i said we are a maritime nation. obviously the port of virginia is one of hundreds of ports that make this country work and so we each have a role to play carried obviously in virginia we are mostly with international partners, handling the transoceanic ships that their inland ports and river ports. that is how kong-commerce moves in the united states so we understand we have a lot of partners out there joining us in
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this effort. >> host: the republican line marry in the. >> caller: yes, this is married. i don't like what you are all doing on this showing security stuff and telling security stuff you are showing pictures and everything and showing them how to do all kinds of things. i don't think you all should be doing this. i wish you all the please, please showing this on tv. the terrorists watch terrorist watch tv. i'm highly upset. >> host: okay, all right. go ahead. >> guest: maybe i will give you a little bit of comfort there. what i've gone over today is that the 30,000-foot level and there is much more detail that goes into it than what i can describe here today so i think rest assured that there is a great deal of security in and around the port in ports around the country. the federal governmengovernmen t is doing a good job but it does
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need funding to continue that effort. >> host: all the information that you told us i assume is public information? >> guest: it is. >> host: the role of the coast guard and security. at what point does it that come into play and then once the ship is here, who takes over security at that point? >> guest: security is really a joint venture between the virginia port authority and customs and border protection, coast guard. one that's on the water it's with the coast guard and it when it reaches the birth itself the port authority and customs. regarding scanning and selecting certain containers to open that's all federal, federally managed. the state portion of that is to make sure that the facilitiefacilitie s themselves
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are secure. >> host: homer fills georgia a republican caller. hi dave. >> caller: hi. >> host: good morning dave. you are on the air. dave, good morning. >> caller: hi, i am here. can you hear me? >> host: you are on the air. please go ahead with your question or comment. >> caller: mr. oliver i just wanted to let you know that i'm here to help you in any way personally that i can. if you get stuck in a situation that you can't get out of and you have to work with those people trained with those situations. do you follow what i'm saying? >> host: dave, what do you do? >> caller: i've worked in national security when it comes to the database networks. and these are situations, these are just situations to take lightly. these involved our economy and it involves the united states
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u.s. treaties. these are things that come down to diplomatic situations that you can't take lightly. these are the most important issues our country has to face daily. >> host: the issue of a cyber threat to the nation's ports? >> guest: any type of security threats really. not just cyber. >> host: let me go back to the cost for companies that are shipping in their goods and the costs along the way. how many different times is a ship charged before they get here to the talk but then once they get here how does the pricing work? >> guest: if you want to put it into the perspective of one of the big box retailer like home depot if they are shipping product from and i will use the example from china to chicago, the portion that is here at the port authority at the port of virginia is less than 10% of the
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cost. there is obviously a very big cost to move it by sea from china to virginia and then there is also the cost to move it to chicago. that would normally be by rail. the port of virginia cost is relatively small. our extreme focus there is service time. >> host: so want to get here though how does the pricing work? does it cost, does each container have a cost associated with it? >> guest: it doesn't depend on the number number of moves and the types of moves that go on at the terminal. >> host: does it depend on the weight of the container as well? >> guest: not so much the weight because press-it cost as much to move an empty box. >> guest: one of the drivers is the number of times we have to touch it so we touch it to take it off the ship and we stack it. if it's going on a truck that goes on the truck and is driven
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through the scanners and if it's going on rail is taking off the ship stack and a stacker takes it through the security and sets it down and another stacker puts on the train so there are multiple lists involved as well. >> host: so it's more expensive to put goods on rails? >> guest: for us to put them on rails. once it leaves here gets a little bit better. 32% of our cargo goes by rail in the port of virginia and that is increasing. again is that consumption demand in the midwest that drives that. rail is a little bit more expensive for us but all. is -- >> host: 32% on rails, does that mean the rest is truck? >> guest: we service richmond with a barge service which is 4% of our traffic. >> host: all right. behind me and i don't know if our camera can get this, are i don't know what you call them, the cranes that lift the containers off and put the containers back on. how much does one of these cost?
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>> guest: they are roughly $10 million apiece in the cranes you see in the background here are actually the largest-when we purchased them and they still are the largest can boehner cranes in the world. they have a reach that extends past 24 containers out so a really large ship can call here today and utilizes cranes. >> guest: that's an important point that rodney make's. the ships that are coming through the panama canal, about 10 containers wide. the larger ships are 13 containers or i'm sorry, 18 containers wide but that's going to get bigger as well. it's not only the depth of the harbor and the ceilings coming in and access to rail but also the infrastructure frames to get the equipment on and off the ships. >> host: how many times if you had to update the type of crane you put here on the dock over the years? >> guest: the cranes that are here at m.i.t., there is not one
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crane that is over 15 years old. they generally last about 25 years. there has been a major shift in the size of the ships so the size of the container cranes have to grow as well. when we bought the ones behind us after 2002 we had the vision that the ships were going to get bigger. >> host: john is next in michigan, democratic caller. >> caller: hi. i was just wondering is the port of virginia only a container port and there is no oak material? >> guest: we are primarily a container port that we have some facilities that do worldwide and roloff vehicles. we also have larger things that can't fit in the container and rodney can probably tell you the percentages of those but primarily container. >> guest: i should also mention the virginia port authority doesn't control these two terminals but in excess of
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40% of the cargo bar of the coal that moves through the united states for export comes to the port of virginia as well. in fact those are privately-owned and operated facilities and the port authority supports those facilities in the periphery. >> host: 40% of the coal exports move out of one of these ports close by here. where's it going to? >> guest: all over the world, everywhere in china is obviously a big consumer of south america is a big consumer and europe is that the consumer. pretty much everywhere. >> host: going back to the cranes behind us, how long does it take for these cranes to get one container off the ship and onto the ground? >> guest: generally they can move 30 to 35 containers in our per crane. >> host: how does it know where it is going next? how does the cranes out that it needs to go to the stack if it's going to go on rail? >> guest: there is a rather
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complex what we call storage process. the ship line works with the port of virginia on that plan to make sure that all the-as many containers as possible are all located in one spot. >> guest: once they are in our yard then we have the responsibility to make sure those get to the right stacks in on the right track and there is also some devices inside them that allow us to track them electronically. >> host: you utilize software? roger in indiana, independent. >> caller: good morning. >> host: good morning. >> caller: good morning. the easiest way to explain his the workings of the port is thinking of it as a rubik's cube. if you move one part, the other part has to move. people don't understanunderstand that and they don't get it. >> host: roger why do you
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think, why do you say it like that and why is that important? >> caller: that is a good visual aid. i used to well, i worked for the department of agriculture and i dealt with issues on the great lakes. our political person here wants money for the poor to get this deal out. i dealt with the pollution coming into lake michigan and the great lake ports and people are worried about security, believe me we have had aerial photography of the united states since the civil war. you don't have to worry about the security of these things. if someone wants at a picture of it all they have to do is snap one from a satellite. these people are doing a great job and they need to continue to fund it and work on it.
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>> guest: thank you. >> host: jeff wassmer what about his visual aid their about the rubik's cube? >> guest: it isn't the whole maritime industry as a little bit new to me. when i was appointed as a commissioner two years ago but it's an amazing sight to come and see the ships unload the cargo going through security and how it gets on the right track. across the way here across the river we have an apm terminal that we use that as the most modernized terminal in the united states. a lot of those lists are done by computer so it's all cranes controlled by computers that do this amazing stacking and respecting through security on a truck, on rail. it's probably a good way to start it. >> host: we are sitting in front of the river at the port of virginia in our folks. give us the lay of the land. the river is behind us but tell us north, south, whereuest: obva
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the atlantic centrally located in the united states on the east coast. we are 18 miles from open ocean and most of that transit is through the chesapeake bay. it's a very large, it's the largest day may maybe the second-largest bay in the united states. the elizabeth river is where the majority of our traffic flows. it's where our-3 of our four marina terminals are located. one is-2 of them are up the river one close in newport news and the richmond port. >> host: a lot of history in this area. how has it changed over the years? >> guest: this used to be an army base. in 1909 this was stood up as a
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federal army base that we have undergone substantial innovation since that time and over the last 15 years this complex has been completely renovated. the port itself is going through dramatic changes over its life. >> guest: a great point as well that we kind of touched on you know the port of virginia are terminals here we do a lot of container tracking but we talked about the role on, roloff. the -- require a lot of draft as well. we have had partnerships with the navy and they are interested in the largest shipbuilder in the united states. so it's a very very fiber import for commerce, for defense and manufacturing as well. >> host: let's go defrank next in west palm beach, florida. republican caller.
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>> caller: yes, hello? >> host: frank ,-com,-com ma go ahead. >> caller: i have one question and the question has previously is what is the cost of the import tax that china charges us where we import our product to china and what is our cost when chinese products are imported to this country? that is the number one question i would like to ask. and the raw material and the finished product head back and we talk about losing jobs and developing work in this country with the factories and stuff so what is the differential in the cost and the tax and should it be the same, equal? thank you all and i appreciate your time. >> guest: actually that is all handled with the federal level- at the federal level and hear the port of virginia we are about the free flow of trade. i think maybe that question is better answered by our federal
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officials. >> host: coming up here in a few minutes we will continue our coverage from the port of virginia. we will talk to two members of congress bobby scott and scott rigell democrat or scott rigell democrat or republican respectively. they will join us take your phonecalls and talk about the economic impacts of the port of virginia on their districts and the state of virginia and what they are doing at the federal level to further the economic growth of the sport and what they think their opinions are on the structure for ports across the country including here the port of virginia. let me go to mitchell and baltimore. hi mitchell. >> caller: hi, good morning. can you hear me? the scale we can. >> caller: . one of my questions is what is the average income for it toward employee there and do you see the influx of potential weapons
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coming from other states because of your great facility there? do you see that happening? do you all have numbers on that? >> guest: it obviously varies by job function and by seniority and by experience but generally i would say $30 an hour is probably in the right range. with regards to opportunities i would say i don't know if we mentioned this but over the last few months the port of virginia is the fastest-growing port so we certainly see opportunities for growth in the future. >> host: just you want to weigh in on that? >> guest: absolutely our plan is growth. the bar that moves across the port of virginia for more jobs in the more economic impact we have in the state of virginia so we plan for growth. >> host: what is it mean for the coffers of the state of virginia rather than coming in?
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>> guest: i think it's 1.3, 1.4 billion dollars in state and local tax revenue generated through port related activities. >> host: and what does that mean? have you had discussions and has the governor had discussions with the board about what t means for budget holes and balancing the budget here in the state of virginia? >> guest: i think the main driver for the port of virginia is not so much returning money to the state in other words we can make a profit we are not going to write a check back to the state. we have infrastructure needs so the ports are able to take profits and use them to operate the port. the real economic impact for again the state is the jobs, the taxes that rodney has said so it's not really to fill holes. we participate in the transportation system. access to rail, transportation and truck traffic and roads to
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get traffic out of here. we invest along with the virginia department of transportation to make those routes viable and easy to access. you know with the navy mandated fitting is no abstract and support we have a lot of tunnels and there is a lot of congestion through those time off. we are continuing working at the state level with the governor with the department of transportation and the port of virginia who is a huge obviously user of those resources to ensure that we have the transportation system be at rail, trucks, consumer traffic private autos and to make sure it the port of virginia hampton rhodes area and the commonwealth grow. >> host: is the benefit them to private companies here in the state of virginia, can you describe it a little bit? >> guest: the mission of the virginia port authority is to stimulate commerce to the ports and serve as the eastern seaboard gateway for
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international cargo. it's really economic development is what we are all about. >> host: we are going to you from christine in indiana, a democratic caller. hi christine. >> caller: hello, how are you? >> host: good morning. >> caller: . [inaudible] >> host: christine i had a little trouble hearing you. the impacts on what? >> caller: what are the top five ports? >> host: were you able to pick that up? >> caller: you mentioned an hour ago about the top five ports. >> host: christine we will take that but i couldn't understand what she was saying.
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>> guest: yes, new york is the largest port on the east coast. obviously we have a huge consumer base right behind their port facilities. savannah is the second largest port on the east coast. virginia is third, charlton charlton-charlestcharlest on is fourth. on the west coast is l.a. long beach. there are two separate ports but they are conducive to each other so a lot of people think of them as one. they are by far the largest in the u.s.. >> host: jeff is up to? >> guest: the same thing. we are number three on the east coast but we are growing. we definitely want to be as rodney said a premier gateway to the united states from east coast. >> host: as we wrap up our conversation with a two view we want to continue talking about the ports and in this country and we will have two members of congress coming up but just recap for us here was the port of virginia is looking for from
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the federal government, what are your top priorities? >> guest: well you know as we mentioned before we have the potential capacity greater than any other port on the eastern seaboard. we are to have 50-foot depth that the ships are demanding now and they are going to demand more. we are cleared to 55 feet. we need federal dollars in the commonwealth of virginia to make the federal investment the smartest that can be. you can go to other ports and dredge or change the bridge over structures but the best bet for the dollar is the port of virginia and we partner with those other ports and we do that everyday but we really think the federal influx of dollars to virginia goes a lot further. >> guest: i would also add that we have an opportunity here with the marine terminal concept which is directly behind us to expand the dredge disposal area which is a very efficient way for us to dredge that also use
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that in the future as a marine cargo facility. it would be 600 acres of prime real estate, the most prime real estate on the east coast. >> host: they are spending constraints in washington so that is the topic we will be addressing coming up next with two members of congress bobby scott at and scott rigell both of virginia republican and democrat. we will keep taking your phonecalls. rodney oliver and jeff wassmer for having c-span here at the port of virginia for welcoming us in working with us to make this happen so viewers can understand a little bit more about how ports work in this country so appreciate your time. thanks again. >> guest: thank you. >> guest: thank you.
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>> host: we are back live from the port of virginia in norfolk virginia where there are 35 ships a week that come to call at this port alone. 350,000 jobs supported a support in this area and an economic impact annually a 41 to $43 billion.
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we have two members of congress here with us, scott rigell republican of virginia representing the second district and bobby scott democrat of virginia representing the third district. gentlemen thank you both for being here. appreciate your time here this morning. it's obvious that the port is a big economic impact and important for the state of virginia but scott rigell let me begin with you. what does this mean for your constituents? >> guest: first of all hampton rd. we are so proud of our port. it's a principle economic. it really is sister dziedzic port of importance not only for our local economy of virginia but really the nation. over 350,000 jobs direct and indirect for the commonwealth of virginia and so much of the goods that come through here and that's going all throughout america. we are proud of it and of course is home to all of our east coast areas.
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>> guest: 350,000 jobs all over virginia. we have pole in the southwest virginia that comes to the port and we have manufacturing. we have to keep it up in building the roads and bridges to access. we can't have cargo coming in and getting stuck in traffic so we are working hard. 350,000 jobs is a great investment and the great engine for the florida commonwealth. >> host: we talked earlier the president has been at a couple of ports recently in florida talking about the importance of them for structure calling on congress to support his overall infrastructure plan, part of that updating ports in this country. scott rigell is a republican, are republicans concerned about the amount of spending that washington does and wanting to cut back? there are no longer air marks so what has been the impact of that that is to say on this port in virginia? >> guest: well i start every
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day thinking about where is the common ground, not so much what we disagree on but where's the common ground that i do believe true investment in infrastructure is the right thing to do. i am a business person who is in public service and oftentimes in business to make an investment than if you just look at the cost of that year and say we can afford it but if you amortize it and look at the useful life of what you are investing in you decide that is a good decision. i think our overall economic situation and what we are continuing to borrow the deficit is still very large and it does threaten the country. we have got to get ahold of mandatory spending and i know that is kind of a different topic that it's related to math because that is putting pressure on our ability to invest in things like the port of virginia and other strategic facilities around the country. looking for common ground i'm convinced we can find it. >> host: what about the ban on earmarks, not something that's
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popular with the general public out there. the republicans came into power said we are going to ban earmarks and i believe ports like the port of virginia are dependent on specific grants that come to them through earmarks. >> guest: this is a really tough subject because the abuse of the earmarks was clear and you're if you double. a complete prohibition has now shifted that authority over to the administration. it's not a republican or democratic issue here because obviously it has changed with different offices so i do think we need to find a way to be able to make specific investments and not yield congresses authority to the executive branch. >> host: do you think your republican colleagues will support some sort of infrastructure plan or is what the president proposing just too big? >> guest: i am convinced that our republican conference will support and infrastructure plan.
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i do call for us to be more flexible on that topic and i have said as much. i really believe on the issue of revenue for example i have made it very clear that the evidence is there, the empirical evidence that revenues have got to, but did. by reducing you know some of the loopholes and tax giveaways and we have got to grow our economy. there is no better way than to leverage this incredible natural asset that we have here. it's been critical to america's in 1607 in jamestown. there is so much history here as well. >> host: bobby scott on this debate in washington happening. >> guest: it's a question of priorities. we have about, over $3 trillion in infrastructure needs and we see bridges falling apart and roads that need repair and other kinds of infrastructure movements. over $3 trillion. we passed a $3.9 trillion tax cut earlier this year so it's just a matter of priorities and
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what you are going to put your money into. we need to make those investments and as we make those investments we are putting america back to work. we still have an exceedingly high unemploymunemploym ent rate and a lot of people have stopped looking for jobs. we need to get people back to work and we can do that with infrastructure investments. >> host: as a democrat, where can democratdemocrat s agree to cut spending in order to be able to fund something like infrastructure needs at the port of virginia? >> guest: if you are talking about cuts in terms of non-defense discretionary spending we are on track to have the lowest spending since the 1950s so when people talk about cuts we have already cut much lower than necessary. what we need escott has indicated our revenues. we are the lowest% of gdp in revenue so if you're going to make investments in the future you have to have the revenues and you have to have spending at a level at least average over the last 50 years, not at the
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lowest point that we have been. if we insist on being at the lowest point in spending than you are not going going to be a would have infrastructure. >> host: i want to turn it over to our viewers and have them be able to talk to the two of you. scott rigell a republican who serves on the armed services and budget committee and bobby scott the third district in the committee. scott rigell is new to congress. how many years have you been serving? >> guest: i was elected in 92. >> host: a fairly new member and -- we will talk to greg first in kansas city missouri, republican caller. >> host: >> caller: good morning. >> host: good morning. >> caller: since you looked into-brought down the twin towers can you explain to any physics teachers -- [inaudible] thank you.
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>> host: questions about 9/11 and what was really behind it. >> guest: i think he is referring to the theory that the government blew up the twin towers. i have heard that theory before and i don't believe it. >> guest: i don't either. i wake up everyday and i am sure bobby does and the president does and those who serve in congress who are thinking about job creation in getting this country on track. i want to open up the coast of virginia energy. it's just that way. bobby and i might disagree on that but i think it represents tremendous potential for us to get our economy going and maybe we will get back to that topic. >> host: we can talk about that a little bit i want to explain to our viewers there is an organized effort if you will appear to call the show in particular about what happened on september 11 of 2001 so viewers are interested in why we get those types of phonecalls that his wife and has an opinion out there.
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>> guest: i personally don't think it has any credibility whatsoever. >> host: let's go back to your point about coastal energy. >> guest: louisiana i had a great trip there in a bipartisan delegation. there is such potential to open up and create jobs. when i talk about revenue generation. it's actually taking the amazing resources of natural gas and oil and also wind and the renewables and leveraging that inputting americans to work in changing lives and creating a revenue that we need for better roads and better schools. i think in washington we too often polarized either you are for the environment or for jobs or something like this and i just don't see it that way. we can do what has been done in the leasing and other areas, diversify the economy and great paying jobs. >> host: what specifically though are you talking about? >> guest: i ran on this
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opening up coast of virginia so we can drill and get to the natural resources that are there in an environmentally safe way. the governor ran on it and the general assembly wants it and the president the only thing holding us us back as chile demonstration. that is not a partisan comment but to the secretary of the interior they are not moving forward and even our two u.s. senators which i really appreciate senator mccain and senator warner. they are good friends and we are working hard together bipartisan bicameral. we want to move that forward and get virginians working again. we have got to diversify our economy. >> host: what does that mean for the sport? >> guest: a tremendous amount of activity. ships would be going in and out servicing the different physical facilities that are out there. the horizon would see them. such tremendous work has been done since the deep water, that
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terrible event in 2010, the technological improvements. there is just a lot of potential. i have been there. >> guest: people have forgotten about what happened just a couple of years ago. the same arguments and all of a sudden there is an oil spill that causes a total disaster. we have a great investment in the chesapeake bay, fishing, tourism and a lot of industry. to jeopardize that overran initiative that frankly will not reduce gasoline prices any measurable amount. gas on it global basis and the little that we produce here won't make enough difference to make any difference at the pump. to jeopardize and to better entire environment on that i think is something that requires very meticulous review and i'm glad the administration is looking at it and not just
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jumping into it. a lot of people were for it before the review had taken place. they were for it before the gulf coast disaster and notwithstanding the disaster they are still for it. >> host: so you think the risk is not worth the economic benefit for the sport? >> guest: if you want to create jobs, a lot of jobs are created in the gulf coast cleaning up the mess and that is the kind of jobs you want-to. >> guest: gosh. i knew we disagreed on this but his views are strongly held and mine are as well. as americans when something catastrophic happens we don't stop flying. we figure it out. we are smart people and we think our way through these kinds of things. there are definitive steps that we are taking. technological advances in the
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event of an accident and i just don't concede to any of my friends that they may care about the environment more than i do. i'm not say that bobby is positioning it that way but it's not an either/or proposition and as it relates to the port this is a key opportunity we have to expand and grow the sport input hard-working virginians to work. >> host: that is our topic this morning as we continue from norfolk virginia at the port of virginia talking with two members of congress republican and democrat. we want to get your thoughts on the ports in this country, the infrastructure, the security and economic impact of it all. let's go to michael in washington d.c.. go ahead michael. >> caller: hi. gentleman this question is for both of you. what is the parties approach with regard to making the country more competitive? it seems all the politics in
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america, the little enclaves that you belong to. the work is moving ahead. you heard ideas today about the improvements that are in the dubai ports and not only to buy. there are lots of ports around the world. it's important the american politicians start to see the need or make in this country more competitive. we have military ports out there. we must also be an economic force. it's important we keep our eyes on the ball. it's important that we do the development at that facility and fund it so the people of this country can have a better life. we know that people are suffering and it's not just because there are no jobs. it's because the politicians don't have an eye on making the country competitive.
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>> host: okay michael, let's get a response. >> caller: . [inaudible] >> guest: that is the point that we have been making investments in the port. we have been doing that for a long time. the port is growing and is the fastest growing port on the east coast so i agree we have to continue to make those investments. infrastructure and improving the ports and expanding. we have the crania island expansion which then we had earmarks we were getting funding to make that happen. we are still getting money through the administration to the executive branch to make sure that expansion can take place. as the gentleman has indicated we need to make sure that we continue to grow jobs in the state and economic development and economic impact. he mentioned 300,000 jobs $41 billion in economic impact
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created because we have the port right here. >> guest: to grow our economy and make our country more competitive, as a businessman who is now into the public service i believe the federal federal government though well attend intentions in so many areas has acted so often is a breakthrough innovation. i've talked to so many hard-working entrepreneurs and ones that i can totally relate to that say scott on about to make this investment. this bad uncertainty level that is out there i really believe the principle way to unlock their potential is through energy. this is a life-changing opportunity for americans and states that have the resources that is that they want to pursue it. north dakota for example using the coastal states in the gulf are doing really well. their unemployment is low so it's a comprehensive approach.
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i am not for no regulations but for less and to make it just easier for someone to want to invest and create a job in america. we need that. >> host: let's hear from james and henry, south dakota, republican caller. >> caller: i wondered if you two guys know the reasoning behind why george bush wanted to sell the ports and did he contact beforehand? >> host: i think he is referring to, 2004 at the dubai company wanted to buy a port in the united states. >> guest: i certainly remember that. >> guest: we consider privatizing the ports here in norfolk. we had several bids but i think in the fullness of time i decided to keep it stayed on. >> host: what does that mean? >> guest: there was a reason i sent and the caller, that's also true. the color i believe is referring to when there was a discussion here locally about actually
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selling the port to a company that was foreign controlled and that came to a full hault. >> host: what does it mean to you guys that this is sustained sustained-state-owned entity versus a private company? >> guest: frankly is run in the public good and if it's privately-owned you have to maximize short-term profits. if its government-owned we can look at the long-term benefit to the commonwealth of virginia and i think that is the one thing i am delighted that we did not sell. just being responsible we had to consider all of the bids. the fact that it's now still in control of the commonwealth of virginia use for the public good and not for short-term quarterly dividends is a good thing for the commonwealth of virginia. >> host: i don't know few know the answer to this but is this port sustained by revenues? >> guest: it's 100% sustained by the revenues.
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cash infusions. we do carve out a little bit of revenue at the state level, the commonwealth for capital investments here in the port and we also get funds from the federal government for environmental matters and also for security because this is a key strategic port. again are east coast carriers are based here and our navy personnel, marines airmen and even soldiers are right here. some of the staff was apologizing for the weather and i said this is great navy weather. we love this. >> host: why is that? >> guest: lots of water and we don't let anything hold us back. this is classic navy weather. >> host: talk about where we are in relation to the naval base here and what that means for both of your districts? >> guest: just to the east here is the beautiful entrance to the chesapeake bay. so much has occurred in our nations history cape henry right there and jamestown settlers one
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of the james river here which is just to my left and our first navy was established here in hampton rhodes. if you curve around the waterfront of norfolk you will soon start start to see all of our navy carriers and 60-plus ships or so that are here at a naval base called naval base little creek. >> guest: you have the moffitt naval base and also several shipyards in the norfolk area newport news shipyard right across the water and it's only place you can bring aircraft carriers. one to places building nuclear submarines so it's heavily weighted towards ship the link and you also have the air force and army bases in the area. >> host: so your constituents are primarily through? >> guest: well i have the privilege of having a district that has the highest concentration of men and women in uniform of any congressional
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district in the country, 435 congressional districts and virginia's second district has the highest end of the of course has several in his district as well. i believe they are surrounded by so many patriots and when he talked to someone who has served in the navy and inevitablinevitabl y they will say oh yes i went to norfolk and a lot of history has occurred here. there are civilian personnel as well. we have tourism as a key part of what we are doing and of course as well this wonderful port that we are here featuring. >> guest: we also have a significant dependence on the department defense for navy ship welding and active military. the department of defense is a heavy economic influence in this area. >> host: we will hear from reginald i think in new orleans. go ahead. >> caller: yeah good morning.
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talking about the-don't leave us behind. we are a small part that we are a viable port. we appreciate you guys coming down to new orleans. we need all the ports we can get the panama canal opening moving investors down here and also we need to work. we are still building after hurricane katrina and we had a slight rate down due to the oil spill but don't forget about us. give us some funds and resources. we want to grow also. we would like to have more work. you guys are helping develop new orleans. >> host: caller, do you work
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at the port there? >> caller: yes i do. >> host: what do you do? >> caller: i am a long sherman, 26 years. >> host: 26 years? a good job? >> caller: yes maam. it's a great job. we need more jobs like this. again we are a small port but we are a viable port. we are producing. >> host: what is coming into your port and what is leaving airport compared compared to here at the port of virginia? >> caller: wow. quite naturally bear a a large part and we are a small port. we get the ships in and out. we are moving 45 containers per hour. >> host: long sherman from new orleans working 26 years. >> guest: my focus is to get work for the port of virginia
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but new orleans is a great american city and in terms of supporting think the federal government is a huge supporter of new orleans after katrina and rita and after the oil spill. we have had a lot of support for new orleans. it's a great american city and they have rebounded from all of those disasters. >> host: if i can ask bobby scott about the role of the unions at the ports the longshoremen and the port authority folks about the role of unions. eska they are are hard-working and very efficient and they have great relationships between the port and the unions and that's a good relationship that has been helpful in getting work. >> guest: i agree completely and i think reginald was expressing really just the feeling of americans all over the country that they want to work.
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this is our duty, bobby's in mind and have had the purpose to serve and lead this wonderful country to do our very best in my common ground and unlock this economic potential that we have here and we have so longshoremen who are also here and they duke rate job and is bobby said it's a very collaborative spirited discussions and negotiations that take place and the teamsters are here as well. i am real part of-proud of the partnership that has been formed here and they really put the port first and in doing so it helps everyone. ..
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z any disruption in the schedule we have been doing security not just at the port but where they bring ships from to the united. so that a lot of screenings take place there. obviously security is a great challenge,ic we have stepped up to the task. >> guest: it's a small navy inflatable. there is security and i've been a recreational boater in the area before i had the privilege. any time there's a security elevated security, you'll see
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quite a bit of nor presence. they have a tability to project more presence and secure the assets we have here. and proud of our coast guard and customs and border patrol they make sure that the goods that are coming in are secure. all of these containers go through radiation detection device. there are other measures. we can talk about some. we can't some. >> host: independent caller. >> caller: good morning. first of all, let me make one comment. i would like to ask c-span keep the number up more often to keep the call. those not regular callers. congressman scott is a personal friend of mine. congressman is right next door to us. one of the fellows asked the question that i wanted to ask. that was the correct role of the representative and the two gentleman you had on before in
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the attempt to privatize this national and state resource. we are pretty well sure that part of that was the union going on. i like the congressman, both congressman to comment directly on any personal role they had or comment directly. why was it entertained for virginia to sell this port or privatize the port in the first place? thank you. >> host: okay. all right. >> guest: i think it's responsible to consider the officers. i think many officials were skeptical of the privatization, but you have to look at the numbers to see what was best for virginia. thankfully, the conclusion was it shouldn't be sold. it should be kept as a resource for the people. and that's where we are.
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i hope we just keep it that way. if it's profitable for the -- >> guest: my understanding was that the offer was unsolicited and it was just presented to the commonwealth and the governor and the secretary of transportation. and they worked through that, you know, i didn't play any particular role in that. it was overwhelmingly a state issue. it was the governor's decision along with the general assembly. there was a question whether the governor had authority to execute that even if he decided to. i think they worked through that. ultimately i think the right thing happened here. >> host: randy in williamsburg, virginia. you are next. >> caller: good morning, america. you are not familiar with me. i own a --
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the standard for minority students in virginia's public school. how can those student compete with everybody else when you lower the standard for them and not everyone else? if you accept them to be a future employee, how does the employer respect that person's education from the state of virginia where you already told everybody they operate at ten to 15% less than than else. and with the schools -- >> host: all right. let gate get a response. >> guest: i think that came from a decision on the commonwealth to deal with the achievement gap, which unfortunately exists today. where minority students are performing lower. they set standards, i think
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actually below where they are now with the expectations over the course of time check up. have not a significant portion of the population significantly behind everybody else and think you're going to be compete on a international basis. we need everyone educated to the full extent of the capability. there's no excuse to have people educate in local two or three years behind everybody else. it was not part of the calculation for achieving what they call adequate yearly
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progress. you have an incentive to -- drop out from the bottom. the more people you drop out the higher the average is. that's not where you want to be. we have -- i think the administration is accepted whether we get to reauthorization some area of dropout rate as much as 50%. that's not educating students with that kind of record. >> host? >> it's a moral impartive we sharply improve our performance here. we are failing our children. i think a principle question that needs to be addressed and how to work through this is are the best decisions and are we better off if we continue to pull decision making up through washington? however well intended the groups are and the department of education, i really am a strong proponent of not spending less, but sending it back to the state as block grant and giving local
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school boards more an ton my and running room. and that's direction we need to go. >> guest: the fail your for no child left behind when we did the testing and identify the ared the school fails that was the end of the process. we didn't come back with ways to actual improve the situation. it's one of the things with need to be doing. [inaudible] i think absolutely important to have the testing regimen to find out who is teaching. after you have identified those not performing, we need have ways to improve that. that was unfortunately absent from the first round. >> host: next in buffalo, new york. democratic caller. jeff in buffalo, new york, you are on the air. >> caller: hi. good morning. >> host: good morning. >> caller: i personally think this is a bipartisan issue as
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far as infrastructure pend -- funding goes. i understand the problem with the deficit and whatnot, but interest rates are currently at the lowest point in recent memory and have been for the last few years because of the recession. and borrowing money has never been cheaper. as far as using the money to reinvest with infrastructure spending, roads, bridges, ports whatever else we need until the country. i guess my question would be to the two congressman. how do you to your constituents especially republican on the panel. i understand it was a hot topic. the way -- [inaudible] primarilet face it. every congressional direct are roads, bridges the money would be going back to the -- so i guess my question is how do you sell that to your constituents, congressman? >> guest: jeff, i appreciate
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the question. i really think in general we have done enough on discretionary spending. there's probably some agreement there. we really do need to shift to mandatory spending. i think it's morally wrong to not reform those. it's going to hurt the least among us eventually. we can't stay on this path of borrowing at the rate we're borrowing. even though i demonstrated some flexibility on revenue. you can't tax your way out of the situation we are inspect -- i want us to find the money to wisely invest in infrastructure. i actually support and vote for an increase in infrastructure spending if it went straight to the programs we need the most. that be wise investment. but we have to get a handle on mandatory spend. it's not a republican issue or democratic issue. it's an american issue. you have to be specific about
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mandatory spending is. you basically talk about social security and medicare. i think the point that is being made is the fact that interest rates is low and the unemployment rate is high. the bids coming in is some of the lowest you have got. we need to take advantage of the opportunity to put people back to work. if you borrowing money for 15, 20-years and so the gentleman is absolutely right. we need to take advantage of the opportunity and the interest rates won't stay lao -- low forever. they are beginning to creep up. >> host: we have few minute left with our two members of congress. we'll hear from al alexandria next. >> caller: good morning. i'm curious why our congress and senate is not creating jobs in
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america. we bring in everything. you walk in to a store it's made in china. the united in the early years we made everything here. we were self-sustainable. that's what made the country great. and why do we continue do this. we have millions of people out of work. they are not even counted. if we can, we were known for text tile of new hampshire or making shoes, making everything. and it is not cheaper coming from china. the pair of jean is still oid. i wondered when congress and senate are going to wake up with this. >> host: all right. all right. we'll get a response here. >> guest: what we need to do the president has several initiative to improve manufacturing, lower tax rates, manufacturing institutes to help build up manufacturing capabilities. but you are absolutely right.
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we can create jobs with a matter of priority. we have a $3.9 trillion tax consult or half a trillion jobs. you can create 10 million jobs with $50,000 each for the half a trillion dollars in a tax cut. only about 10 million people draw unemployment at any given time. you can virtually eliminate unemployment if we put that as a hire priority than tax cuts. we have the money, we can create the jobs. we have to do it. >> host: i want to point out the ship it looks like it might be leaving here from italy. we have a caller earlier talk about the port in dubai. have you visited other ports across the world? what is your impression of those ports versus here in the united
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states? i visited other countries not specifically the port. it was more a national security afghanistan and pakistan. , you know, we have a tremendous potential just what you see flowing out here and heading out to the chesapeake bay to the atlantic. it's a way we can address alexandria's concern. the idea of making it more competitive. i really believe as a business person. we truly have and doing so now. we regulate ourselves out of our prosperity. the sum of other things put a real damper on the spirit of the year. >> host: who is doing the regulation? which agency? epa. >> guest: well. it's the sum of all things. i can tell you this -- you can call it what it you will. there hard working americans that are being put out of work because we're not allowing some
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reasonable accommodation for us to improve over a longer period of time with respect to some of these emissions. and look, china is putting these coal plants online. so is rind ya, and i just -- it burdens me greatly that what is happening in washington is putting americans out of work. we can do far better than this. i don't see it as part of an issue. . >> host: we learned earlier, congressman, there's a terminal close by that exports about 40% of our country's coal to other countries like china. >> guest: i think some of the health and safety regulations much lower level. i think you have to be careful with that. >> let me get in one more phone call for the two of you. bob has been hanging on the line in minnesota.
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ii believe it's a republican caller. go ahead. >> caller: hello. >> host: good morning, bob. you are on the air. >> caller: can you hear me? >> host: we can. >> caller: okay. i would like give you an idea what i believe will be -- [inaudible] >> host: bob. i'm going to -- you're breaking up there a little bit. we're running out of time. let put you on hold and try to come back to you later on in the show. we're running out of time with the two of you. how do you talk to folks back in washington? your colleagues about what the port of virginia needs, and you serve on committees that aren't directly related to the port. how are you talking to your colleagues? >> it's related to the work force. we need to talk about the economic growth what it can do
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for the economy. you mentioned -- hundreds of thousand of jobs. we care deeply about our environment. that said that the path that the epa is on. i let my friends know when we are on the measure about wisely realing in the epa it ripplings across the country. the way it's constraining our environment. so when we make decisions to reel in the epa we're actually unlocking the potential of this port and for virginia begans and americans to make a better living. >> host: all right. disagree on that. but thank you very much. we appreciate -- we appreciate the differing viewpoint. thank you very much for coming on the washington journal from
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the port of virginia. thank you for welcoming us here. we appreciate it. good have you both. each day this week while congress is on recess, we're bringing you oncore q & a at 7:00 eastern on c-span2. at that time the codirector of the documentary "d et ropia. " at 8:00 p.m. eastern booktv in prime time. tonight the focus is on book fairs and festivals of the past year. i'm not sort of antisuburb person who thinks that everyone needs to live in new york city. i was sensitive in coming across as a sort of coffee sipping, condo well dwelling elitest of
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some kind. that's no why i did this book. we wrap up a look at the one of the nation's busiest port with a 35 minute conversation with the head of the national group that represents ports across the country. you can see the entire "washington journal" visit to virginia on c-span.org.
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we are at the international terminal here. and joined by the port association, kurt is the president chief executive officer of the american association of port authority. tell us a little bit about what your group does. what is your role in the ports across the country? >> guest: sure. our association, the american association of port authority represents the public port agency like the virginia port authority throughout the united. in addition to our u.s. port we also represent ports throughout the western himself him himself fear. they are role primarily provide forum for exchange of information. best practices and lessons
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learned. we provided a cro sate sincerity effort in washington. >> how are you interacting with washington. with our officers across the river in alexandria we meet regularly with folks on capitol hill in the house and senate to discuss issues of importance. not only to ports themselves, but to our transportation infrastructure, connecting to our port as well as obviously to the competitive competitor. in addition to that we work with the various federal agency. the department of transportation within homeland security, congress department education on issues that relate to trade and public port. what are some of the top priority you have meetings about with officials in washington. the primarily issue focus a lot on the infrastructure. at the port facility themselves but also importantly connecting to the port facility on the landslide in term of the first
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mile or last mile in to and out of a port facility. the connections to interstate highways, but also importantly the navigation channel leading in to and out of our port. those are federal government channels, and it's important they be both maintained and improved to cover the accommodate the larger vessel and international trade. >> host: what does take to dredge the line -- lane and inside the port. who is doing it? >> guest: the responsibility is federal, it's in term of the agency. the u.s. army corp. corp. of engineer that is responsible for maintaining and improving the navigation channel. it's paid for in term of the maintenance by the users of the channel. the shippers bringing goods to the port of virginia, say they are paying a tax to the government to be able to fund the maintenance. with the virginia port authority pay a significant cost share if there's going to be improvement deepening and widening.
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>> host: this port behind us, you know, this terminal here the international terminal, it's dredged 50 feet. how does that compare to other ports across the country? >> guest: the relatively few ports right now in the united states that are able to accommodate vessels that can handle dredge of 50 feet more. that's a challenge we have in this country to be able to bring our infrastructure at our port. to be competitive internationally. having one the channel it is 50 feet. there are others being improved to the depth. it's a long and complicated process. >> host: how is the shipping industry changing? >> guest: you're seeing larger vesselling making fewer port calls but bringing more and more
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goods in on the individual vessels or taking more goods for export out. what that relates to then is the depth of the channel that are necessary. those 50 feet able to accommodate the larger vessels. that impact the cost, for instance, on our u.s. export. the more either coal, grain, whatever the case may be of our export we can load on an individuals have. the lower cost per ton or bushel marijuanaing it competitive. >> host: our guests earlier from the virginia port authority told us they topped out at 9,600 containers on one ship. they are looking to go to 12,000 or 15,000 containers on the super tanker. what is a turn tanker? >> guest: the new larger vessel from anything from 12, 14, 15, even vessel on order that are 18,000t e.u. it's essentially containers. it's --
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[inaudible] you can roughly halve that. 18,000 it would probably have ballpark about 9,000 containers on each of those vessels. the panama canal is expanding to be able to accommodate the largers have thes -- vessels and port throughout the world are really also looking infrastructure investment to be able to handle the larger vessel and international trade. >> host: the president calls for it. there's republicans like scott like we heard earlier more infrastructure spending for the port. if it doesn't happen, if the investment doesn't happen. what happens to the super tankers. who are we competing against? >> guest: most part of the super tankers would be able to travel -- the u.s. will not be a major player competitively. it will literally by pass with
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us the larger vessel. we won't be able to compete because of the economy. >> host: don't the countries like china that make a lot of goods need import them to the united states? consumer here is -- there's a demand. >> guest: there totally is a demand. we will certainly remain a significant destination for imported goods. it's just that the population and the economic growth throughout the world in latin america, other part of asia is so significant that the u.s. share kind of a relative size of the u.s. compared to historically is shrinking. and so that we don't have that natural advantage that we had historically. >> host: which countries are coming to call with their vessels here at this port and ports across the country?
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>> >> guest: in term of value of goods both our import and exports are two top two destinations and origin is china and japan. there's also significant import and exports with country like germany, brazil, south korea, >> host: we saw a ship from italy. >> guest: european, latin america, other part of asia. it's a global economy. we really have to be able to be competitive with not only port around the world with the cargo being shipped throughout the world. >> host: we have a set up at the international terminal at the port of virginia. we have a camera on the tower at the ground here at the port. it's to be give you the view you have been seeing. the 360 views of the ships cop in and out and the activity that happens here on the ground just next to us. kurt, compare this port to other
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parts across the country. similar? smaller? what is happening here today that happens across all port? >> guest: as you indicated in the introduction, the port of virginia is one of the major port in the country. certainly as well as on the east coast. what you see is activity that is going on in this port particularly it has obviously a lot of containers as we see at this terminal and others throughout the port. but it also is a significant player in term of our bulk commodity export. coal is a primary port for the export of u.s. coal. which is one of our significant exports and not only obviously impact jobs here locally in virginia but also at the origin of those where the coal is produced. et. cetera, what you see here is activity and jobs not only locally what it means for jobs and activity throughout the various regions of the country that are kind of supported by their port. >> host: and we touched on
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this earlier. for those joining us. the people that work here, what kind of wage are people earning at ports in the united states? >> guest: the average long shoreman wage at port is significantly above the average wage in the u.s. economy. these are very good paying family wage jobs. also in general in term of the economic of our exports in general, jobs related to our exports generally pay 15% or so higher than say your average jobs. so, again, there's significant economic impact to our ability to compete internationally. >> host: let me turn to david in front royal, virginia. democratic caller. hi, david. >> caller: good morning. my question is regarding security at the ports. i would like the gentleman's comment regarding ports in general.
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there's been -- over the last two years there's been a reduction of security personnel and the replacement of the hybrid security department. with his comment regarding efficiency of the personnel? >> guest: well, i think what we have seen certainly dramatically change since september 11th, 2001, was a strong shift in port security away from a focus on cargo theft, drug interdiction to the concern about security, in term of terrorism either at the port facility itself or in term of bringing potential weapons of mass destruction or some other hazardous material through the port. i think there's been an significant increase in the level of investment in port security including security personnel. the port of virginia here has a
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very significant sworn police force here at the port authority. it's a combination of physical security in term of literally the boots on the ground. the port security professionals. but also a lot of increases investment in access controls to ensure that individuals that seek access to the port have a legitimate business reason to be on port property, and to secure the facilities -- in term of the cargo that is here as well. there's been a dramatic increase in the investment, and combination of technology as well as port professionals security people. >> host: the other aspect of the port, one of them being the railway. showing our viewers a little bit early entrepreneur. they are building a railway a few feet from here. how important is that? the port of virginia, we learned earlier 30% of the commerce goes outs by rail. the rest of it mostly by truck.
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building a new railway through here. talk about that as a factor in ports and our delivery of goods. >> guest: normally about at third of the cargo moved out of port is handled in general by the private railroads in it country. that can help, obviously, reduce the congestion around the ports. the ability to have on dock rail so the rail lines are able to physically come on to the port property and load directly on to the real -- the containers for shipment either to the midwest or other markets that help significantly in term of congestion, certainly as environmental benefits, et. cetera. but that's, again, a critical piece what we're focused on in washington is to ensure that infrastructure that connect to the port whether it be the rail line, the literally intermobile
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transfer between the port and the railroad. and as well as constructing to be able to have easy access on to and off of port property to the interstate not only to increase the efficiency but increase the impact on the local community. >> host: gordon in wyoming. go ahead. >> caller: good morning. thank you for being on the show. thank you to c-span for putting on a great show. -- [inaudible] in san francisco bay in 1965, and we would meet every ship that came in from the port underneath the golden gate bridge upon the freighters and tankers we put public health officials so they can inspect the crew and the health records by the time they got pier they would have their work done. on the passenger liners we put
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custom officials. i'm wondering about the feasibility of when the pilot goes to the sea buoy to meet the freighters and the tankers or passenger liners, if they could also put, i mean, coast guard has a part security mos. we put a crew of port security guys with the pilot. and maybe public health service officials or health officials on port. and take care of business on the way in. it would save some time. the money i don't know it would save. t a big challenge. i don't know. it's something is somebody wants to do something bad. there's opportunities there. unfortunately. >> host: okay. >> thank you, senator. and for your service in the coast guard. you're absolutely right.
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a lot of focus has been in the last ten years on trying to essentially move our borders out in term of security away from the land itself. and there is a lot of security requirements that takes place that for the vessels, 24 hours or more before they do enter u.s. port. the cargo itself is screened in advance. they are required to provide information on the cargo that is on vessels well in advance of it arrival at the u.s. port. so there are continuing efforts to again both physically as well as technologically move those borders out so a lot of that inspection, a lot of that screening can be done both the cargo and the vessels and the crew well in advance before they arrive at the facility like this here in virginia.
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>> host: are the crews, you know, coming italy and the other countries foreign crewmembers. are they vetted? >> guest: they are. there's also limitations in term of their access both obviously first off to whether they are able to get a -- one of the challenges is to provide legitimate access for crewmembers so they are able to buy supplies or make phone call what they're able to do when they're in a port. also to be able to ensure that the facilities and that vessel remain secure. so again, it's a matter of vetting those crew to ensure that they, you know, have the ability to be able to access facilities but only the area they have need to be at. >> host: raleigh, north
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carolina. welcome to the conversation. >> caller: hello. >> host: good morning. you are on the air. >> caller: yes. i'm a korean war vet, and i have -- i'm interested in the topic today. what i'm amazed about that is system of assemblying things like the conway yards in the pennsylvania area it's automated. i don't see a single person manning the machine. and the cars of manufacturing in the same manner. but what gives me an intense interest on it is that you do not have the kind of personnel
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at the base itself, and the state of virginia gets quite a -- has gone wealthy, you know, with the port. i believe it's something we ought to be proud of and progress and three dimensional manufacturing is another one down the pike. so i say that i'm proud to be in a country where question develop such things of a great magnitude as this. that's why i called in. my question is -- compared to an elevator that runs horizontal and vertical -- no horizontal. it's a system that operates off a certain design measure and operates and has parking stations and whether it's ready it's called upon by total automation. and that fascinates me.
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that's why i had to call. >> host: okay. >> guest: thank you for the call. certainly as you see in the background, the crane at the facility are state-of-the-art and have a lot of automated features for primarily both efficiency but also importantly safety aspect so that the individual long shoremen that are on both on board the vessel as well as operating the crane or in the yard behind those cranes are safe and secure. so there is a lot of automation and new technology that can increase the efficiency. making our goods more efficient and more competitive internationally swems our import so consumers when we go to the local department or toy store, whatever the case may be our products are competitively priced. we are able to have the quality of life we have here in the united. certainly the efficiency and the
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safety of employees is part of the awmghts and -- automation and the technology we have in cranes here. >> host: the cranes behind us, we learned this earlier one costs $10 million. they lost about 25 years. it's what the port authority folks told us. they have updated them just recently. and to our right, you saw earlier the people working on lifting up the containers, moving them, stacking them, the straddle carriers what they're called. you can see them busy at work. they have been working all morning since we have got here. talk about that a little bit and how that factors to the operation here at the port. >> guest: right. the process, as you see even when there's not physically a ship at the bulk, there's a lot of activity going on in term of getting the containers either ready for a vessel that is
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coming on, i believe, a vessel is due this afternoon. but also cargo that has been offloaded and being prepared to be sent either to the rail head for distribution by rail or that can be prepared truck driver able to come in and pick up a load to take to its destination. there's a lot of activity and jobs, a lot of economic activity in and around a port that is beyond just the physical trade and the ships themselves. >> host: on our line for independents. randy in west point, mississippi. >> caller: good morning! >> host: good morning. >> caller: if the ports in savannah, georgia going to be upgraded for the new tanker ships? thank you. >> guest: the the port of
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savannah is currently in the process of working in the corp. of engineer and the federal government to deepen the savannah river so it will be able to accommodate larger vessel the project is underway in term of that investment and improvement. similarly in gulf port, mississippi. as you know, that port was significantly impacted by katrina a few years ago. as part of the process of rebuilding and revitallyization of the mississippi coastline there's activity involved in terms of improvements and investment in and around the port or gulf port to both revitalize that community that have devastated by the hurricane, but also importantly to be able to handle the new type of vessel that will be transiting in to the gulf of mexico in a few short years. >> we have about fifteen minutes left with our guest. he's the president and chief
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executive officer of the american association of port authority working with officials in washington, working with ports, not only in the united states. we are at the international terminal with the elizabeth river behind us. as kurt said, they're expecting a shirt at the berth behind us around midday today. we have seen ships coming in and out. a lot of activity at the -- here at -- at the shipyards. as far as profit and revenue we talk about that. does it work differently at every port? do they try to compete with other ports across the united states as far as how much how many ships they see?
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>> guest: thankfully for benefit the country has a very good culture of willingness to share experiences, lessons learned, et. cetera. they are very competitive in term of marketing and competing for cargo, exporter, i want porters, et. cetera which again from national standpoint help to ensure that we're doing things efficiency, and keeping coasts as low as possible for u.s. consumers as well as our manufacturers and exporters. but there's very strong competition that the gentleman called earlier about savannah. certainly savannah, charleston, new york. there's a competition on the east coast similarly in the gulf coast. and there's competition between
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the west coast and the east coast for cargo. and additionally the canadians are competing. and the mexican ports to the south. there's at love competition. that helps ensure we're being efficient. >> host: does it make a difference for the shipper how long their containers stay on the ship? whether or not they can come to a closer port versus coming to the port of virginia or continuing on to call to the new york port? >> guest: from a shipper's perspective, they are ultimate goal is to get the product where they want it to be by a certain time at certainly as economic of a price as possible. some cases that is involves having it on the water far longer period of time. it's why in general the lowest cost transportation. depending on the particular commodity and the particular location, there may be a combination of taking it to a port that is a little bit --
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>> host: does it mean it's serving the midwest or the middle part of the united states? >> guest: the port of virginia's primary market is certainly to some degree in term of the exports a lot of virginia, west virginia, et. cetera is exported. but i would say it's primary market is the midwest. and, you know, other parts that are compete forking that same cargo which certainly keeps the port of virginia, again, on its toes to to be as economical as they can. >> host: and competing for federal dollars as well. >> guest: absolutely. that's one of -- the challenges that we as an industry have is with the federal budget climate as it is in washington, d.c., and the discussions about what is a federal responsibility and what
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might not be a federal responsibility. all of our challenges and industry is to highlight the fact of what the role of the federal government is. again primarily as a partner on wart side -- water side and land side connection. they are investing $9 billion a year throughout the years on facilities as we see behind us. what we need the federal government to do is really uphold the end of the bargain in term of the federal navigation channel, the landslide access type of infrastructure that are outside the ports' jurisdiction. they are a strong competition, obviously in washington for the limited dollar. it in term of the industry itself, we think that it clearly is a core federal responsibility was literally laid out in the constitution. one of the first things that george washington did was establish the federal rule our ports and water ways.
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>> guest: thankfully it's been somewhat moderated because again i think there has been a recognition by the effected education that the international trade is vital to our economy and jobs. there's concern because with the across the board budget kit as the sequestration requires. things like the corp. 7 engineer has less money to maintain the federal knave gracious channel. puts them at greater risk. another one is custom and border protection. one of the earlier caller taunted the screening of cargo, et. cetera. custom and border protection with the sequestration cut has had to try to do more with less resources to be able to continue to provide that inspection so
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the cargo can enter and leave facilities on the timely basis it needs to. >> host: we have about a little over five minutes. let me go to jerry in alabama. democratic caller. >> caller: yes, good morning. >> host: good morning. you're on the air. >> caller: okay. i have a comment and a question. how does your guest look at the intercoastal highway as another means of moving the cargo up-and-down the coast without, you know, impacting highways themselves? my comment is, i hope they will understand that the containers ships was invested in this country. malcom mcclain who started sea land corporation, and now all of those jobs have been sold out and gone. hardly any american container ships anymore.
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and that's my comment and question. thank you! >> host: okay. >> guest: thank you. you're certainly right in term of the intercoastal water way. here on the east coast with the intercoastal water way up-and-down the coast. along the gulf of mexico there are some movements of a cargo in between ports here in the united states. something that we're certainly advocating for increase jutelyization of those water ways for both the efficiency of again as i mentioned earlier. it's generally the lowest cost as well as most environmentally friendly mode of transportation in term of moving goods. but also certainly can take significant off the road like i-95 on the east coast or i20, i-10 in the gulf coast.
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so we certainly very much agree with your concept of greater utilizationization of our intercoastal water way as well as just moving vessels from one u.s. port to another to move that cargo. and to your latter point, that would also help in terms of u.s. maritime jobs. because that type of movement between u.s. ports would be required to do on u.s. flag vessel with u.s. crew. that would address your comment. >> host: what about the history. he talked about the history who invented the containership. >> guest: he's absolutely right. i believe in 1956 actually ran a trucking company in the new york/new jersey area, and figured there must be a better way of getting any cargo in and out of the port and where i need it to go. he literally took the that the
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time was literally the truck itself on to a vessel and shipped it to i believe the first shipment went to a port in texas. and that literally began the history of containerrization. as we see now as much cargo as possible because of the economic of the type of transportation is moved by container on these large vessels. >> host: what is your background in this -- in this industry and international trade? >> guest: i've been with the port's association since 1985, actually before that. i noted when the caller called earlier from wyoming, my background has been in international trade even before working with the port association. i was with the national -- [inaudible] visited a mine in wyoming to gate sense of the coal production. and coal is certainly one of our key export internationally.
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it involved in international trade and u.s. competitiveness in the world market for over thirty years. >> and your job as the port association is to be talking to the federal official. we talk about the competition for federal dollar from the port. how much money are we talking about that ports are getting from the federal government? >> unfortunately not what is necessary. the port themselves, as i mentioned, are investing about $9 billion a year in the facility. they are investing the lion's share, which is certainly legitimate. >> reporter: >> each year in our facility throughout the united states. we need the government to do is invest primarily in the water side federal navigation channel. that is in the would be in the neighborhood if it was fully fund between $1.5 and $2 million for maintenance and improvement. and also important --
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importantly the land side access. the connecting roads to the facilities here and the hampton roads, again, to facility at a time that movement and reduce congestion. >> retalking about a federal investment of billions? >> i would say billion but low billions. compared to the 9 billion that the public court and the private sector partner are investing. it's a relatively small share. it's part of the partnership in term what is the federal role. what is the federal jurisdiction. the federal navigation channels are under jurisdiction. i know, the constitution reserved for the federal government the port of virginia couldn't deepen it even if it desired to do and willing to pay. it's a federal channel. it needs to have the federal authorization. >> host:ly me quickly to go to fill and try to squeeze him in. hi, phil. a democratic caller.
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>> caller: hi. your guest just -- talking about the living in virginia i think the main bottle neck of the port is getting through the bridge tunnel system. how do they deal with the local authority to, you know, get the funding how much of a drag is the local bottle neck here? it's certainly significant for many port. what we've seen over the last probably ten years or so that the port authorities are looking beyond their gate in term of the transportation infrastructure and being more involved whether it's with their local government, the local metro planning planning organization that deal with transportation issues in the local regions to try to ensure how that some of the priority that are necessary
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to address the congestion important to the local community as well as the port can be addressed. here in this area you mentioned the tunnel certainly, a a long-term plan is for a third passage, a third tunnel that will provide both benefit to the cargo moving in and out of the port and the community here in hampton roads. >> host: we have thirty seconds left. we are at the state-owned port here. state-owned versus privately-oprah winfreyed port in the country blank what all of our members are pub lipping port agency. many are state, many are local like city, county. they handle most of the public-type goods like container. many of the port facilities that handle things like oil, petroleum product, lick fied nation gas. and they handle a lot of those
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types growth commodity. >> host: the president chief executive of the american association of port authorities. we thank you very much for talking to our viewers this morning. welcoming us to the port of virginia. we appreciate it. >> guest: thank you. the bookings constitution said that the deafen cuts coming in 2014 would be some of the most harmful to the military under sequestration. and he predicted that congress may try to soften the impact of those cuts in a future budget deal. here is a a look of what of he to say. if you look at the 2014 budget. i'll be quick. the cut required by sequestration are so, for that year. there's no way to phase them in realistly. t a worse debacle than the notion of -- the pain that occurs to the force in that year dwarfs even what we're going through this summer.
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it compounds what we're going through this summer when almost half of the air force isn't flying, for example. they are piling up and we're not fixing stuff that we need to keep safe for the force. i think congress may ultimately sate the $52 billion in defense cut that sequestration would require need to be softened a little bit. maybe they add them to the back end or something. don't do anything fundamentally changing the basic logic of sequestration we but they soften the blow in 2014. that's possible because the sector of swetion ration is horrible for the armed forces. congress is currently on a five-week recess. they return to discuss budget spending after the labor day hospital. you can see this entire event on c-span.org. ..
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by the people that live there is too big a story to ignore her.
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this week on q&a, filmmaker heidi ewing discusses detropia that she could directed with rachel grady. sections of the program contain language which may be offensive. c-span: at what point did you decide to do a documentary on the detroit? >> guest: i'm from the area. i was born and raised in the dietrich areas of there was a personal connection. i never considered making a film in detroit or with any personal ties to myself whatsoever. but my co-director and body, rachel, started talking about
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the city of detroit in late 2008, because i would return home and things seemed to be getting worse and worse. it was all pretty bad when i grew up there in the 80's. so to see the crisis spread out further and further into the suburbs and a lot of people i knew were leaving and we started discussing what was the future of this place, but wouldn't like, then in october of 2009i came with my crew for three days as an experiment and filmed in a city just as an outsider and talked to a few people and absolutely riveted by the people and the place. and i thought there's definitely a movie here. i'm not sure what it is that we need to make a film and in detroit. c-span: i read that you're father had an impact on you and his business is over the years. >> guest: that's right my father had a manufacturing company. it survived and it does fine. like everyone else in the 80, with the rise of japan, he
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really had to innovate and come up with new ideas and he stopped making just nuts and bolts and started making very difficult to create products. he started engineering complicated things that couldn't be replicated or stolen or easily made overseas. so that's how his business survive. i kind of had a front-row seat to what it was like as an american manufacturer growing up in the 80's, and how she survived is an interesting lesson because he was about being nimble and agile and innovative, which is what i think detroit needs and what the rest of the country pretty much needs right now. c-span: how much of his business partners over the years or his friends and all around the try to move out of their to mexico or some other place as a other than the united states? >> guest: might have run the business with his brothers, with his two brothers, said they were adamant to keep their products made in the united states. however, i would say the vast majority -- something like 60 percent -- of my father's
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colleagues went out of business in the 80's and early 90's partly because it was cheaper to make things overseas, absolutely. c-span: how many documentary's have you done already before this one? >> guest: a lot. i've been making -- my business partner, rachel, and i have been making films for over ten years. this is our fifth documentary feature for theaters but we've also made a lot of small and large television projects for hbo and a nd, and we are living in the non-fiction will the which is rare and lucky. c-span: where are you based? >> guest: new york city, lower east side. c-span: which of those 100 dhaka and restated the biggest? >> guest: jesus can't. we made a film called jesus can't which is not only nominated for the academy award. we lost to elbe for an inconvenient truth. it was a terrible year to be nominated for an oscar. we all knew we were going to lose. but you know we was a film that was not -- lagat nominated for
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an oscar but really a sort of struck a nerve. a was really a look at the evangelicals right through the eyes of children to attend a summer camp and are being home-schooled in creationism etc. and i really had the time in 2007 a window into the world to therefore hadn't really been investigated and we didn't pass judgment on the kids or the families in the film. that's what we do. but it really was just sort of an eye opening for a lot of people to realize desert of the face to this nameless, you know christian right that people were referring to and people were saying the christian right is responsible for electing bush etc. it just became this title, the same for us and we went in and we met these children and their families. we realized quickly that these are the so-called foot soldiers for the right wing of the republican party that they were also the just the leaders of religious people and you know, going to the beat of their own drum. surreally it was like opening for us and we really just tried to paint a picture of how things are with these communities without passing any judgment.
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c-span: i saw the documentary, and my question as i was watching it was why did this can't let you in? >> guest: part of what they do, the families are very proud of how they raise their kids. becky fisher, who is head of the camp, thanks very strongly that she is saving lives and she's saving souls and bringing children to the lord. these people are believers. and actually, when we went to each family's home long before the film premiered, we may get our business to go and show the final film to the subjects of our films. the first thing becky fisher, the head of the camp said, was you kind of watered it down. no one is going to watch this. it's so boring. and i said becky, i come to you from a secular planet. you have to listen to me. people are not going to just, you know, turn this off and not talk about it. this is considered -- i won't say the word radical, but this
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is considered hard core faith and believe especially with the pentecostal speaking in tongues, that aspect of it. and she was just like all right, well, that's fine and. and all of the parents and kids loved the film. and we're still in touch with everybody. they felt like a was an accurate representation of their lives, and it is. and really the strong reactions came from the outside, from people who wanted to find fault with what they were doing. and i thought i was very interesting. actually, i became a much more tolerant person. a much bigger protector of freedom of religion and speech after making that movie because i saw how some of the kids and some of the families were ridiculed and terrible things or written about them in the blogosphere. thank god it wasn't today because it was before treasury and all that. but i was really alarmed by some of the reactions to be honest with you. we hadn't really expected that. c-span: why documentary's?
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what is the motivation, how much of it is business reverses you just like this medium? >> guest: it's a terrible business to be in. if i were financially motivated i definitely would be doing something else like reality television, god forbid, or something like that. so no one gets into documentary's motivated by the business alert or the financial allure although we do make a living at it, a fine living at it, but really it's rachel and i, my co-director and i we share an incredible curiosity to learn, and it's an incredible gift that we are given to be able to pick up the phone, not on someone's door, go to the community and say hi, please talk to me because i'm trying to tell this story. so we in that meeting people and experiencing things that most people never will and that we never would. so part of it is a little bit selfish because you are exposed to the world, and especially our
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country because we focus mainly on domestic issues almost exclusively. so we do it because it has become an addictive and the more you learn the less you know, you know how that goes. i can't imagine any scripted film would say the kind of things they said in real life. in fact, with "detropia," our film, the audience had asked, and we were surprised by the question because the answer was of course no way. but some of the things that were said were so right on and so insightful. people just can't believe that they are hearing that. c-span: how did you get the money? >> guest: for which one? c-span: "detropia" a. >> guest: "detropia" was sort of easy to finance strangely. we were -- we pitched the film
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and it took about six months to raise the money but our two partners were the ford foundation in new york that obviously had ties to detroit and also has a large film so they wear a major center of the film and also pbs which gives the money on behalf of pbs was the second biggest funder and then there's amalgam of others like the sun dance kick in and other partners with equity organizations that support philanthropic document three films to get into the collection of us together finance the film. no one had a control so that is one of the deals. we were able to raise the money had able to make promises to anyone including pbs and the
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broadcaster which for us was paramount to making this film. >> host: c-span: being of the mayor of detroit to people mengin him as a association detroit pistons washington bullets and boston celtics. >> guest: he is a an honest and a year and there is a history of corruption and all kinds of business with some of the city council and the mayors of detroit i don't think it's a secret when putting the most recent major that is now on the trial. c-span: and served in prison already. >> guest: that's correct. so detroit has come out of a feeling of being abandoned, betrayed and cracked the the contract by the previous mayor. i think that most detroiters would say that kwame tricked them. and so, dave bing was really the
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right answer to kwame. dave bing has the most thankless job in america. it is -- the problems this man has has been saddled with the almost insurmountable. the city almost declared bankruptcy in april and very nearly adverted it by giving in to a consent agreement with the state so republican governor snyder and the mayor bing are basically to managing the finances of detroit. it's a very slow recovery financially. there's still love talk possible taking over by the state to aid would be the largest city ever taken over by a state. stockton california looks like right now it might be the largest 300,000 people. but mayor bing is an honest man. i don't know if he's a fantastic charismatic leader but, you know, i think the detroit people like people with a little bit of spider and attitude and to be very forthright. i think that he is a mayor he has been -- hecky space things closer to the vast than more
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detroit are used to. c-span: was looking a little bit of your film. obviously it's -- it's a commercial product and you're selling it and we are just going to show bits and pieces. but before we go on if people want to see this or they want to see jesus can't or any of your other book imagery is how can they see them? >> guest: well, "detropia" is playing in theaters across the country right now. it's an over 50 cities and as people go to detropiathefilm.com they can see it's in their city. but it's in all the major markets and secondary markets, d.c., new york, l.a., san francisco, philadelphia, baltimore etc. so it's probably a very cinematic experience. i hope people see it on the big screen. all of the other films you can see on netflix or online order to the website, and loki films. >> and this film as a "detropia" also in around january will be on dvd. c-span: all right. here is the opening and explain
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what's going on here. >> these are houses that are never coming back. these houses are not coming back. there's no people to live in them. >> no, not right now. no pity there's one family every 20 minutes moving out. >> it's going back to the prairie and these houses are just disappearing into the landscape. >> yes, they say there's 90,000 right now ready to go. >> every day, nonstop. every day. get them done, get another list. get them done. get another list. >> how many you have right here? 11 on this street clacks
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c-span: this is early in the documentary, why? >> guest: it's very early in the film and it's important to set the stage to, you know, acclimate the audience to the situation we are dealing with, that detroit is dealing with. we chose a scene that is played out many, many, many times all day long all over the place and every season. so we didn't start with something that was so provocative that you, we only have and to capture it. this is something that we saw hundreds and hundreds of times happening. so you almost don't see it anymore when you drive through detroit. there is always a building coming down. these buildings must come down because they are not being occupied. they are just dangerous structures, destructive the inside. the city is doing what it must. it's a still alarming at first to see there's so much going
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away. c-span: you point out that detroit used to have close to 2 million people and now it's got 700,000. what happened to the population? >> guest: the population, well, you know many people -- people left. they didn't all leave the state. at least 1 million moved to the suburbs of detroit, and putting my parents who are part of that so-called "white flight" out of detroit after the riots in 1967. but the truth is that there were already riots in detroit in 1943. and the population was never that comfortable with the arrival of so many african-americans from the south who came for the good jobs, for the jobs when, when vitre became the arsenal of democracy and started, you know, started becoming the center of the war machine in world war ii, even more people that have already come and have already started the great migration to work in the factories. more and more people came, and the white population was never that comfortable with that. so, segregation is a very real
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part of a detour past. and so the exodus had already started really in the 40's and 50's. and then with their i it's it just was really almost the final point. c-span: at eda 2% plus african-americans in detroit, it is the most african-american city in the united states, is it? >> guest: i am not quite sure it said there. i'm not sure if it's the number one, i'm not exactly sure. what's washington, d.c.? c-span: no, it's much lower than that. >> guest: is it? c-span: i think it's close to 60, 55%. >> guest: i believe it is one of the top, yeah. c-span: the reason i ask that is as you went about your task, white woman, a partner, white woman director, was the reaction to you? >> guest: well, one of our cinematographers' is african-american, so we are a bit of a mixed crew. you know, detroiters are salty and weary and don't suffer
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fools, and race is always just under the surface in every conversation, and every interaction. i was aware of that being from there. so i just what sort of bring it up right away and explain very quickly that if i was raised in the farmington hills and my parents were detroiters and my grandmother was. she hung on until the end and couldn't walk up her stairs and had to move. and i just sort of address it right away. i know what you're thinking, a girl from the suburbs, i don't live here anymore. i went to mercy high school. let's get it all out of the way. but i would spend my weekends in detroit coming and you know, i know the city, but i am a really an outsider and a little bit of an insider. and i would just technology right away. and so we could talk about it, you know just pretending that there's not some kind of racial divider, pretending that we are exactly the same as foolhardy. and detroiters don't appreciate it. as we just address it. c-span: you're to your cameras and to watch them a year to the
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trustee six mayor bing and some urban planners talk about the future? >> guest: that's right. >> what we are seeing is virtually the entire city is a listing some level of population decline. over the past 50 years, we've lost about 50% of our population. if we were at about 1.86 million in 1955, we are arguably somewhere between 800,900,000 today, within a city of the same size. you know, as the population plummets, the number of jobs is actually decreasing even more. i think you're probably of into the 50% real on employment in the city. >> even though you may have some detroiters that get a job in detroit, once they get to a certain level of income, they get the hell out of town triet succumbing you know, that seems to be the direction that a lot of folks are taking. but the reality of fink debate
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to -- thinking that we are going to be popular is this area in significant numbers any time in the near term, i don't see that as my reality. when do we think we will be able to identify those neighborhoods we deem to be stable where you really want to make new investments? >> we have to start doing something. that's got to have been otherwise you're going to -- will lose the people. c-span: a part of what i noticed in watching the documentary is it's dark. you don't seem to use much artificial light and you certainly didn't in their i assume. >> guest: we don't use lights at all. it's all natural light. that was a very dark space unfortunately. we didn't do that on purpose. but, you know, there is a quality to that scene that is hunkering down, trying to solve the problem. lanning in the, what are we going to do? this is what we are dealt with. so in a way, the look with this
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particular scene, because the city is trying to figure out what to do coming into these problems are multifaceted. and they are trying the best they can come of that there is always so much the administration can do in light of this kind of breadth of problems. c-span: how did you pick the people you featured? >> guest: it was very difficult. we met so many people. detroiters we would start by asking some reporters and some friends and we would say if you were making a film in detroit, who are the ten people that you absolutely would not miss? who are we going to mess that we shouldn't mess when we get the list of tenet etc? so we ended up meeting hundreds of people, and eventually be sorted out the chorus of people that we felt could best of the story. and how we ended up falling mainly our detroiters who -- middle class detroiters who could leave that have chosen not to. the majority of our characters really could go. o days ago in the detroitl taken
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news. a very startling poll that people responded to me and said 50% of detroiters, if they could leave tomorrow, they would leave. >> 40% say they intend to leave in the next five years. so the exodus has not stopped. there are newcomers but it hasn't bottomed out in terms of people that want to leave. so it makes it even more significant that the people that we chose, for some reason, for one reason or the other they feel that detroit needs them and they are going to stay. c-span: you mentioned this before. what impact did the rights have on the 1967 city? >> guest: i think you don't want to overstate it because like i said, they're have been riots in the past. but it was pretty devastating partly because the was never dealt with soon after. the next administration's coming in didn't really deal with the racial divide. the city's suburban divide was really cemented their and there is so much resentment even from
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coming to know, my aunts and uncles and people that are older than -- the way they talk about the trade is sometimes it's -- it's not really with derision but there's still anchor there because that was their city and the field in some way that they weren't -- that they had to leave or, i mean, there's a lot of miscommunication and those detroiters who have stayed resent those that have left. are you with us? are you against us? there's still that very, very strong divider and i really haven't seen anywhere else in the country. i'd say the impact was pretty, was pretty heavy. c-span: statistics plight count, 43 killed. how many were there, 400 some injured? and then 7,000 arrested. the 82nd airborne was shutting -- >> guest: the national guard had to come in, tanks in the streets, we have some footage of that in the film. c-span: i want to assure you of something that you haven't seen to be there was an interview that popped up in an interview some months ago here with a
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professor out at american university, a fellow named clarence lusane, and he was there. so this is brief. let's watch this. semidey started on saturday night and we had spent all day saturday in canada, often people in detroit crossed the bridge and go fishing. and when we got back there was a full-blown riot going on. and was very, very hot evening. i was probably about 12 or so then coming and nobody was in sight. and at one point my mother, my sister and i walked down a couple blocks to the s. res. main intersection where there were just hundreds and hundreds and hundreds of people. and after we being there for awhile a car drove up and two white men got out and fired at a corner. they lifted their shotgun and fired. and every one of the corner, let's see, there was probably about 20 people, everybody was it except for me. my mother was shot, my sister was shot to get some of the injuries were more serious than others, but everybody was -- you know, people were bleeding and there was of course panic triet
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c-span: jack, and those statistics -- i think ten or 12 of the people killed were white and the rest of black. how much money has been federal money has been actually sent into detroit and state money to try to rebuild it? and what impact did it have? >> guest: i can't give you the exact number but there's a lot of efforts right now not just from the state and the federal government, but actually there's so many sort of ngos. there's so many foundations. every foundation you can think of has set up in detroit. you know how people refer to certain, certain places and around the world as an ngo, you know house -- hotspot. c-span: non-government organizations. >> guest: yes, it's like that, but with the foundation. everyone has their pet project. everyone has their pet neighborhood, their initiative, be it education, be it in an urban farming. everyone has sort of descended upon dietrich because some of
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find it interesting petrie dish because they feel that detroit will try again right now because it is hit such bottom. other people you know, feel that it's you know, it's their responsibility as foundations to assist the people, the poverty. it's a very, very high, very very low performing system. there is a higher rate of illiteracy. there is something for every foundation in detroit. and just recently actually you mentioned federal funding, 164 firefighters were laid off as part of this sort of a downsizing as part of this, the effort for mayor bing to get the finances under control in the city. some firefighters which detroit needs because it is sort of the high, i think it must've been the highest case of arson in the country. these guys were laid off. about two weeks later, miraculously 100 guys are rehired. and when you look to find out where that money came from, it was actually the the problem of homeland security has a fund for
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things like that. and i don't want you to know -- want to you know, overstate but i was, that's -- that's when you want to think that the department of homeland security needed to step in to keep the trade as safe as it can be for the moment. it could be a lot safer. but so, we are talking about -- i wondered, and i wondered making this film to get we've seen the although industry bailout. we've seen the bank bailout. and we are heading into an era of bailouts and cities. is there such a thing as a field city? we talk about field states and we are looking at a slew of bailouts the federal government is going to have to stand for many municipalities that are on the brink. it's not just detroit. and that is really, really one of the messages of the cell. and when we've got the tax base -- no tax base, when you've got a recession, with the housing bubble etc, a lot of our urban centers just can't pay the bills and can't pick up the trash and can't protect the people. so detroit in so mainteresting s
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the possibility for several other urban centers in the country. c-span: back to your "detropia" a documentary, a fellow named george micha greider before we show george how did you find him? >> guest: george is amazing. he is the president of local 22, uaw. and his work at the detroit hamtramck plan for general motors. i found him because of a tavern owner that we were filming was hoping that the chevy sold, which was being made the street would help bring his business back with new shifts. >> senior quality mechanical technicians. any of you that's $18.50 an hour. they would be going down to 18 or 50 cents decrease in pay. but the guys in the planned seven that are making $17 they want to move them down to $14.50 which is a loss of $2.50 an hour on wage. for factory support which is the
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guys that are making $14.35, their new proposal is $11 an hour which means they would lose $3.35 an hour on their wage. >> i asked her i said how do i sit down with one of my members who was already scuffling and making $14.35 to sit at the table with their family and get to tell them that my union and i agreed to take a $3.35 pay cut? i asked for that. i said i told you guys we are going -- if we negotiate any kind of agreement it's going to be a little will wage. what did she tell us about a livable wage, they call it? >> i don't care about your dog is having a livable wage. >> point blank to this and i mean why? what good is that? what do you think you're going to feel every day going into work? they don't care. that's the biggest problem. c-span: how much do they blame the north american free trade
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agreement for this? >> guest: there is a lot of talk and nafta. they are still chewing over nafta in the trade more than anyplace else. c-span: but i mean a lot of these -- this plan to the talking about gets shut down. >> guest: yes, it goes and basically the man or rehired in mexico. american axle moved all of its operations to mexico. it's already moved most of its operations and then this was sort of the last plant that opened and when you look at what the employees are making in the mexican plant, i believe it is $3.52 an hour over all. so there was no wage that these guys could have actually accepted i believe that would help convince workers we did this company to stay at their and lies the real conversation. we need to bring corporate america to the table in some kind of way because it's just going to be on price, then everyone will just get lead off because these guys can't live on $3.52. so, and you know, this sort of a articulates in a visible way what that looks like.
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but -- you hear about coming you know, with both candidates right now, the shrinking of the middle class to a line for the middle class. the middle class is going away. but what does that mean? what does that look like? in detroit i'm making this film "detropia" and we sort of experience with that looks and feels like from people who are experiencing it and that's what you see in that scene. c-span: both democrats and republicans passed nafta. both liberals and conservatives supported nafta. what's the solution? i mean, is there enough money in the federal tale to be allowed dietrich? >> guest: i don't think that there is enough. there might be enough money in the federal till to bail out the trite, but i don't know if there is enough to bail out of the other cities that are going to be lining up behind detroit. and of course that is really not the optimal solution. ..
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how go we keep the corporations here? how do we make that happen? i would like to hear that because they don't leave in droves. >> i should say if you watch the full documentary. there's 0 a lot of music. not a narrativer. we're not giving people the peel -- feeling of the documentary. >> guest: yeah. >> host: let me run a little more george mcgreger and see what he has to say.
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>> it's everything. we build everything. everything. america did. we have a family living in america that the working guy provided us. a standard of living. the working guy. it started here in detroit. right here in detroit. everybody -- [inaudible] some of us have a little place upnorth. the middle class. [inaudible]
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middle class. middle class. >> host: is there anything people like george mcgreger did wrong over the years that lead to this? >> guest: absolutely. i think there's at love blame to go around. the unions are not blameless. there was a time they had a lot of extras going on. i mean, actually george described weren't able to use in the film he described a program called the homework hotline. every employee's child could call and get help with a homework. that's really nice. but that costs money. and the vacation days, sick leave, there were people in the path that did fall down on the job. it was too hard to fire people. there was a time for sure it was too bloated. with management, you know, taking sort of producing sub par cars and paying themselves too much. overall the industry behaved as
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a cartel at times. refusing to make small cars, saying you could never make money on small cars. honda and toyota proved them wrong. we lost the market share. some mistakes were made. what we learned making the film is after the bailout, they did agree to take a 50% wage cut for the new hires. the in coming wage went from $28 to $14. i feel at this point it's slimmed down and gotten leaner. i think they have taken the lump i don't know if that will be enough -- they say the industry is roaring back but never regain the market share that we lost, i don't believe. it's funny because say well with, you know, they say the auto industry is posting huge profit. we don't understand that does not translate in to a mass amount of jobs anymore. so in term of employment they'll never be able to employ the way
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they used to. >> host: where did you get your training for this? >> guest: making documentaries? >> host: uh-uh. >> guest: just doing it. i went to georgetown school of foreign service. i got the film bug. i joined a film society with friend. we started making movie. i changed my mind and decide id i would be a terrible diplomat. i moved to los angeles and worked i practiced for years for other film makers, documentary film makers. always non-fiction. people made documentaries usually come it at it -- the community comes tat from a variety of it backgrounds. very few of us took the film school rude. -- route. you need patience, a good listener. you need to have an ear and eye for material. >> host: how many hours did you shoot? >> too many.
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rachel i met at the company in new york. we were working for another producer. we were asked to produce a two-hour tv special on church of scientology, a long time ago. nobody wanted to make the film. i think people were afraid of the church of scientology. we did it. and it was a fascinating experience. we met on the film, and in 2001, we started film in new york city. our own production company. >> host: more from -- who named it? >> guest: i did. >> host: when did you get that? >> guest: a couple of weeks before sunday. -- sun dance. we opened it in january and it needed a tight because we sent them a cut with a temporary title. we couldn't figure out what to call it. there was a shot in the film where an auto parts store has been converted by an artist it reads utopia. the guys walking by it.
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it was a utopia for many. we started combine the words. >> host: the next is scrap metal. guys standing around. >> guest: illegal. >> host: where did you run to us? >> guest: lucky for us. they don't come up and, you know, tell you i want to be filmed. we were driving one wintery night on our way somewhere else. i saw a blow of sparks in the field. very strong orange flames. and we stopped the car, and i said i think they are -- we approached and somehow we were able to film the scene. >> host: okay. we'll watch it. ♪ . >> no one will mess with you around here. >> the police came out here to make sure we weren't stealing nothing. we were careful. they said if we had complaints they would to run us off.
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[inaudible] [ bleep ] can't gate job. >> we're still working -- [inaudible] you get $2.50 a pound. >> you go somewhere and it gets melted. >> it goes whenever. china. >> why is it going to china? >> so they can make shit and send back here and sell it for more. >> host: how does that work? where is the money? how do they make money? >> guest: these guys know more about the price of metal on the
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international market than most people. they keep track of what the price of copper, steal -- steel, aluminum. it goes up-and-down. and if the price is good enough, they get up and they go and they try to find those metals from abandoned factories and homes and copper piping and things like that. they it to the scrap yard which closes at 10:00 p.m. they weigh it and get the money. they are right. most of the metals have been going abroad to help build the chinese infrastructure and other places. especially copper. for telecommunications it's crucial and it's expensive. basically they are -- it's the cleanup crew. >> host: how much -- do you know how much they made? >> guest: that's night it was a good take for them. they each made $200. there was like five of them. >> host: they take the metal out of buildings? >> guest: actually, they had just previously in the scene
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they had just taken down -- we filmed them taking down what we found out later was a cat lack repair shop. which was too devastating to put in the film. i couldn't put that information in there. yeah, they go in to homes, and, i mean, mostly these guys go in to abandoned buildings and abandoned structures. you go to most of the structure in detroit and scrappers have already been there. they removed the pipes and all of the metals. >> host: who are the i dos? >> guest: the newcomers. they are a young couple in the late 20s. they met in hawaii. they moved to detroit because they are artists and wanted to find a place they could afford. they heard it was urban and exciting and dod city. anything goes. >> host: what are we going -- we see them in a building somewhere. how do you find them? >> guest: they were just -- i found them -- i forget how i found them.
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friends of friends of friends, and they basically are prrchts artists. they do graffiti art. installation. they take the structure of detroit like many artists are sort of making them to their own personal art project. >> host: here they are. >> we had a project that we wanted to do like street art, public unstaylation. we started evaluating bat mar, we were looking in to new york city, and detroit came up. i knew that that's one thing detroit had an abundance of space and old warehouses. i feel like we have assimilated to community of artists that are moving here and coming here.
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we are able to keep our studio because everything is affordable. detroit is constantly amazing me. i feel like this is redefining what the value of things are, you know, $25,000 for an amazing lot of. -- lot of. that makes it assessable. i would never be able to own a home. i'm here with a studio and apartment. in major city, you know, functioning for like $700 or less a month. we can experiment here. because if we fail, we haven't really fallen anywhere. >> host: what is your sense of how many people would do what they're doing? >> guest: i think it's about 50,000 that have come in the last five years. >> host: to detroit? >> guest: i believe. i hope i didn't get the number
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wrong. you there to double check it. it's hard to tell how many have come in the last five years, i think. i know, this the 59 percent increase in a young population coming the last five years to detroit. they -- will they stay in i don't know. a lot of them work in restaurant or coffee shops or don't have to work because the rent is so cheap. they have children, will they send the children to the public schools? it's an unknown thing. it's very interesting trend because i think that what we're seeing is young college educate, mostly caucasian chidz -- children that moved to los angeles, chicago, can't afford it. they're not finding employment. a place like detroit needs them. they can make a mark. they can live for super cheap. they can have a loft and mingle with other people their own age.
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there's a community growing in very specific neighborhoods in midtown detroit. and it is become a trendy thing. i just don't know if it's a trend that is going to be long-term. >> host: you said you grew up in farmington hills? >> guest: that's right. >> host: what is that like? how far from downtown detroit? >> guest: 25 to 30 minute drive. it's about five -- i grew up five miles from the city limit of detroit. it's a world away. you know, it's a world away. it's got, you know, suburban box stores and coffee shops and, you know, it's -- when i grew up it was mostly caucasian which are mostly mixed now. which is a good thing. the black middle class made an
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exdouse. then it was the white folk then the black middle class. as he said in the clip, most people who could leave have left. >> host: why should detroit be saved? why should there be a lot of money pumped in there? >> guest: i don't think this country is willing to let detroit go. it might be for -- indianapolis taupe ya. you wouldn't have had me on. we wouldn't be here talking. no one would have seen it. it's detroit. it's a piece of detroit in everybody's garage. it hold a special place. a mythic place. does it deservedly have the place? i don't know. it's just -- the country will not allow detroit to be completely abandoned and fail. i don't think it's going happen. i think it's a point of personal
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pride. it's the same reason we have an american auto industry that no one wanted to allow to go bankrupt. >> host: you live there had what year? >> guest: the film was made 2010. we used -- for a year and a half. >> host: both of you live there had? >> guest: we took turn. our crew lived there. we were there for three weeks a the the time. we got two apartment in downtown detroit. moved in for a year, year and a half. >> host: were they cheap? >> guest: yeah. pretty cheap. >> host: how do you and rachel divide your responsibilities? >> guest: it fends. we cast the films together. we go on location in the beginning together. we choose most of the subject together. we come up with the look and feel and the tone of the a film together. we go on location separately. we're not both there together. it's better to have one person in the field and then the other person has a much more objective view of the material which she walk watches it later.
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she'll watch the material i filmed and i'll watch her film she weighs in. she's a major collaborator of ours. we try to sift through so the a scenes, the best scenes make it in a film. >> host: do you both have families or your own children? >> guest: rachel had the first week of production began. she was on location a little bitless -- less because of that. i don't have children. i have a husband. she has a child. so yeah. >> host: a character named tommy steven. who is he? >> guest: mr. tommy stevens is heart and soul of it. he's a retired schoolteacher. he's a black middle class man who could leave detroit but doesn't. he owns the last black-owned blues bar on the east side of detroit. he open it is every friday and saturday night. sometimes people come, sometimes they don't. it used to a watering hole for
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the guys who come up and plant up the street when the plant was thriving. it was a busy business. he's watched as industry has failed. he's watch the client base and the customers go away. he's an interesting guy to look at because the proximity to the plant and amazing street policy for and on the own journey. >> host: here is a brief forty seconds. it's great system. it exploits the weak. it always does. unfortunately. one of the sociologies i used to read in the '60s say that us plan -- need the middle class to buffer the poor. if you take the middle class away, the upper class will have
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problems from the lower class. you have to think about it now. only 2% of americans exceed $300 ,000 a year. only $2%. if you wipe out the middle class are you going to have 98% of poor folk in this? this country? >> host: what do you think of his philosophy there? >> guest: well, he ends up saying that if there's no buffer between the rich and the poor the only thing left is revolution. that's his big line in the film. he's observing that at some point sister going to break. at some point when you have the amount of jobless people if it's goes on the rise and people have lost their dignity and ability to provide, you know, it's an economic revolution that's a possibility. this is --
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he said this a year before the occupy wall street. it was interesting. occupy wall street didn't go anywhere. the idea it would be a conversation happening in the country he observed that. you know, i think he is somebody who articulates what a lot of people are feeling, which is that somehow just, you know, working hard and doing the right thing on keeping your head down and putting in the hours that used to translate in to at least a decent lifestyle. that was some sort of a guarantee. maybe it was never guarantee. we imagined it, maybe. the other shoe is cropped and i think he's observing what a lot of people are feeling right now which is the anxiety and the panic that somehow they can't and won't reap the benefit of the capitalism. they won't do as well their parents. i think he captures that feeling. >> host: what do you think? you grew up a father an entrepreneur.
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he's obviously a capitalist. >> guest: that's right. and republican. [laughter] >> host: will you -- there you see the inner-city. and the man had a business too. >> guest: that's right. he still owns the business. he's a great businessman. he buys houses in detroit also you see in the film. he renovates then and rents them to people. he's a business guy. he does love capitalism. he believes in it. he believes in the free market. believes in the free market, and yet identifies that something is broken and that, you know, we need to find a way out of this. you know, you brought up nasa earlier. -- i'm not an economist. i'm a film maker. ii think the idea we didn't need the jobs or the dirty jobs we didn't need the manufacturing jobs. we could do better. the service economy was on the horizon. why not let the jobs go? i think that was shortsighted because we didn't realize we haven't filled that vortex.
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we haven't replaced it. we have been, you know, flailing around trying to figure out what it is. so many of low-skilled or nonskilled people are able to have a debt -- decent lifestyle. you might not find a job. it's a cycle of economy you see playing out in detroit and mr. stevens and the matter of fact way seems to be making the observations. >> host: is crystal star her real name? >> guest: yes. it's her real name. >> host: who is she? >> guest: a star. a detroiter born and raised. she's in the late 20s. these a baa -- baa rei stay, a young creative person trying to stay? detroit because she loves it. and trying to make ends meet. trying to figure out what there for her as a young and curious intelligent person. >> host: when you were following her around.
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how was it set up. why was she where she was in the old mansion and theater? >> guest: she said you suburban kids have tree houses. we have abandoned buildings. that's where we have our fun. she goes in to billings all the time. she was doing already. that's one of the reasons we cast her. that's what she did in the free time. she went to the old hotel and apartment and industry and factory and she would get her book and figure out what used to be there. who used to live there. what did they wear? how did they live? what was the detroit she didn't experience? that hay day that place that worked. the important grand city. she never experienced it. he parents barely experienced it. people talk about it all the time. it's a place that is filled with memories even for young people. she represents that olding on to an era but not having experienced it. >> host: how much education does she have? >> guest: some college
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experience, and i think she continues to take classes. >> host: she's a blogger. she writes about it? glrg -- >> guest: she's a video blogger. >> host:let watch crystal starr. ♪ . >> history has been one of my things even since grade school. it's a passion. what was there? who was there? it's amazing where you see they ripped off the wall because there's copper piping right there. can you imagine like having breakfast right here? you know what, i mean? look at your view! look at your view in the morning! yeah, i'm going conquer the world because i can damn near
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see it from right here. motown right up the street. can't pay rent. can't [ bleep ] leave. i feel like i was here a while back. or older than i really am. i have a young body and spirit and mind. i have the memory of this place when it was banging. that's how i feel. >> guest: yeah. a lot of people feel that way. a lot of detroiters feel that way. the memory -- some people have a memory of the place when it was banging because they were there. people like crystal have a memory of the place when it was banging because she was told about it, treatment about it. there's a hope that it can somehow come back, return to greatness.
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i think it won't. i i think it should become something different. smaller and functional and nimble. returning to the era. noun of us can do that. >> host: i'm going tend with not some of your video. but before i do that. i want to ask you about it. they did a picture on rodriguez. but rodriguez, a man for years who lived in detroit lived in places like you're seeing here. no one knew about him. he was a singer. what do you think the rest of the world saying about your documentary 120 -- hour twenty eight minutes long and seeing rodriguez. what is the image portray together rest of the world? what is the message. >> guest: oh, well, i think the message -- that film is a total different animal. i ran in to him. i literally bumped in to on the
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street. he was an amazing talent that was lost to the world forever working in detroit and construction. and he was plucked out and found by the film maker and returned to greatnd and celebrity. he experienced the harsh reality of detroit. the message we're saying it's transition. we try to figure out what the next fifty years look like. and other countries have been through it. there are highs and lows. and the country is finally talking about those realities for maybe the first time. and so i think a projecting to the world an honest reassessment of where we have come from and where we're going. >> it can be found -- >> guest: many movie theater. >> host: itune and dvds.
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what is next? >> guest: i need sleep for a year! [laughter] >> host: do you have another documentary? >> guest: we have one for hbo. it looks at islam phobia through the eye of muslim children. >> host: when is it running? >> guest: not sure yet. look out for it. >> host: a little bit of inner-city blues at the detroit institute of art. not connected with your film, but it captures another personality from that city. thank you for joining us. >> guest: thank you for having me. [inaudible conversations] okay. [inaudible conversations]
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♪ ♪ ♪ ..
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fair authors discuss african-american history. the panel includes sarrebruck and author of karlan, kendal thomas, co-editor of anthology of critical theory and tufts university

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